For a Rotorua knitting group, the feeling of donating so many hand-knitted items in a short period of time is like no other.

Wacky Warm Ups meets every Monday from 10am to 12pm at Rotorua Library to knit for those in need.

Wacky Warm Ups co-ordinator Jane Fear says the group has been going since March and it now donates to Love Soup, Trinity Project, Fordlands Kindergarten, public health nurses and Visions of Hope.

"People donate wool or knitting they have done and want to give to us. We've had a lot of donations. People are very generous."


She says the group has woven some sleeping mats with donated fibre. A member then felted in some possum fur and wool to make them thicker and warmer.

Co-ordinator Tracey Shepherd says they have had 550 items donated or made so far.

"It's escalated a lot in four months. We've got a great team of women that come and make lovely things for people."

She says Wacky Warm Ups started off with four people and the group now averages about 15.

"It feels amazing because we never expected anything to get as huge as it has.

"We've got a lot of support and people have been so kind and donating things.

"Our philosophy is to try and help the homeless out, and people and children who live below the poverty line and in overcrowded houses.

"I think all of us look forward to it every week. It's a great feeling that here we are making something that will make someone's life a bit better."

Gayle Heath says she has donated about 160 items which she knitted, crocheted and felted.

"Rotorua is a fairly cold place for the North Island, and it's something I can do to keep people warm."

She says Wacky Warm Ups is a great group and because she works from home, it's a great social event for her while contributing at the same time.

Gayle also loves teaching people who want to learn.

Susan Murdoch says she enjoys being able to do something for the community through such a friendly group.

Marie Holmes knits for numerous charities.

"I enjoy the group. It's nice to see a lot of nice people here and do my bit."

She says Wacky Warm Ups is a great idea because there is such a big need.